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Danza Contemporanea de Cuba

The Lowry, 9 June 2012

Mambo 3XXI. Photo by Manuel Harlan.

An exhilarating whoosh of electric dance, that’s what happened on stage.  On reflection, it is puzzling that no fuses were blown.

Of the three quality pieces in the programme, the last was George Céspedes’ modern classic, Mambo 3XXI.  Midway, there was a narrative dance, a skewered and abridged Carmen, which had amusing moments but didn’t quite take the breath away.  Also, the punctuation or notation here was wrong: it was not dubious (?!) but rather interesting (!?).

That first dance though, the one that started it all off, was the stunner.  Sambroso by Itzik Galili managed to induce mellow light-headedness and chaotic joy in about equal measure.  They worked, the dancers here, like the parts of a well oiled machine.  Their movements had a salsa vibe – that old judicious two-step – despite or maybe because of the startling incongruous music, a spot of percussion from Steve Reich.

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